Wedding Planning Q&A

How Do I Choose A Wedding Videographer? with Wesley Thompson


Welsey Thompson from Wedding Memory shares his thoughts on how do I choose a Wedding Videographer that suits your style and vision.

Listen to Wesley on the Wedding Espresso Awesome DIY Wedding Planning Podcast…


Wesley Thompson from Wedding Memory


James: [00:00:03] Wesley hi. So our brides and grooms have been asking how do I choose a wedding videographer.

Wesley: [00:00:17] I think obviously if I was choosing a wedding videographer, being a wedding videographer, but from the outside looking in, I think obviously you at first want to see people’s work. Even prefer to see someone that ticks your boxes that’s different you know, that captures the important moments on the day. I think that’s one thing I’d be looking for. So a bit unique, not any kind of standard video. And something that moves you in a way that makes you think “actually I love that video” like when you watch it again and you watch it again. I think that’s one of the first things, that you instantly like their work and you’re drawn to what they do.

Wesley: [00:00:57] I think another thing that I’d also look for next then is if there is a website, and I’d look for the feedback, because I want someone reliable. So I love their work I think they’re going to be great, so initially that’s perfect, then I want to see what kind of feedback they’ve got on their website or if I could find any feedback because you want someone reliable. Obviously it’s the most important day.

Wesley: [00:01:21] And then I think moving down from that I think you’d then want to obviously get in contact and kinda get to know them. You want to deal with someone that was kind of easy going. I think if you want someone that’s going to be there on the day but not there on the day, if you know what I mean, you want to know that they’re going to capture the day but not be in your face. And then if you’re good, you get on with them, then you know that maybe the photographer will get on with them, because you want someone that will get on with different people if they’re a little bit awkward then photographers are not going to like this and get to make what they want. You want everyone to get on to be honest.

Wesley: [00:02:02] But I think the the top thing for me would have to be how they capture your day. And if they’re different, if they tick all the boxes. I mean I’ve worked personally… When I’ve done wedding videos, and sometimes you get there on the day and then the Bride has asked you to do a lot of different things but then they realise that they’re hired you for one reason, it’s the fact that they like your work and that’s the thing that you want them to do and that’s what you want to go for, you go for someone when you like their work. They’ve captured the moments that you think are great, cause you never know, you might love the video and think “actually I didn’t see the first kiss”, or certain key moments you might miss, I think that’s pretty important.

James: [00:02:44] So when you when you shop around looking at different styles and stuff, I think certainly from my perspective there’ll be a moment when I just hit on something and I’ll be like, I really love that.

Like I’ll watch a video or I’ll see a photo and I’ll go, “hang about”, and then I want to see more, like have they shot more. Can I watch more and like you said that’ll probably lead to someone going yes I’m really interested in talking to this person and let’s see if we can find some reviews and stuff and you know, check that they are what they say they are. So how much of that would you say sort of boils down to image style and music choice. Are they big issues?

Wesley: [00:03:27] Yes I would say they are. I think that’s the thing that if you’re… It’s like anything, it’s like even for instance even when you watch the advert for a film, a majority of the time you won’t be that bothered, but as soon as you’ve seen that advert that many times you go, actually I really want to watch that. It’s that key moment and that’s the same with wedding videos. You only get… Apparently there’s like a… There was a thing thing I heard on Instagram. You get 30 seconds and then the attention’s gone, and then on Facebook it’s about a minute. So I think it’s within a minute you need to capture that person. So long as you’ve captured that wedding couple. And if they feel drawn to that you know, and that is both the footage and the music. I think they both go hand in hand. The music choice is massive. You want something that maybe you could reflect on if you were choosing it and thinking cos you’ve got people that are a little bit cheesy. They like cheesy music and they like something a bit soppy. And then you’ve got someone that’s probably a bit more funky. So instantly if the music’s that way, they’ll instantly be drawn to that person, that videographer.

James: [00:04:36] Brilliant so once we’ve been sort of like enticed with a trailer or a sample or something. How easy is it to watch the full thing so we can see an example of what what it is we’d actually receive. Is that possible.

Wesley: [00:04:49] Yeah. I mean from my point of view what I tend to do because the full wedding video is not unlike… Some of them are either from 45 minutes up to an hour an hour and a half long. We can put them online for people to view you see, but obviously what we’d have to do then is just get permission of the wedding couple, and a majority of them are all very comfortable with it. What I tend to do is write a full email of exactly what you get. The preview video, the highlights and then obviously the full wedding video and what’s included with the full wedding video. Then on the website what we tend to have is an example of the wedding USB folder that you get with it as well you see. You get to see the package. I’ve tended to copy that trend from other wedding videographers as well just cos obviously from my point of view when I’m advertising, you want to try and be not just like everyone else but obviously there’s a norm around the industry of what people have got on their website and that’s good. You just want the key things of what actually it includes because even though it’s on the website the amount of people that actually… Couples that double check with me what is included. And the one thing they do ask a lot is, is audio included. So a lot of people ask that even though it is on the website they just want to reconfirm that you do get audio.

James: [00:06:15] Sure, brilliant, I suppose when you boil it down actually watching someone else’s wedding video isn’t going to have the same kind of emotional hook as watching your own wedding video. So like you said I think, cover the bases and tell them what they are going to receive, and if they like the samples then I think it’s 99% isn’t it? They’re 99% of the way there.

Wesley: [00:06:35] Yeah it is, I think with the music obviously it’s whatever moves them. Even though I could choose something, or if and when a videographer could choose something, they know what they like, if you know what I mean. So it helps when they choose the music, so instantly they know there’s a connection there straight away, whether that was from a memory when they first met or actually from their first dance. So I think that’s perfect, but there is, there are so many good wedding videos out there anyway and there’s so many that just get you drawn in straight away because of some of the great music out there. Not commercial if you know what I mean, really just bespoke music.

James: [00:07:12] I just want to throw you on to the hot seat for a second here. Have you got any funny or interesting stories about filming weddings that you could share with us.

Wesley: [00:07:24] Well yeah I think the one… I dont know whether… Well obviously one of the most important parts of the reception is the speeches. There was a wedding that I videoed just recently actually and the best man was heckling the groom while he was doing his speech. Not too badly, it wasn’t, you know it was alright, and he was kinda giving him some real aggro because they were both really nervous. And to be honest, really, I would have said the groom was the most nervous, but then when the groom stood up, he killed it. He was amazing. And then you had the best man, when he did his speech, and I’m obviously behind the camera and I’m waiting to film it. He got up and he was like a rabbit in headlights. He just completely froze in front of all these… I mean there were about a hundred people there in all. And he literally froze, he did swear a couple of times and I just found it a bit, I was chuckling behind the camera to be fair along with everyone else, but it was just kind of funny how during the speeches, he was heckling everyone that was doing theirs, you know. The groom and the father of the bride and everything. And then when it came to him, absolutely blank, his head just blanked completely.

James: [00:08:48] It’s funny you brought that up actually because I’ve seen exactly the same thing. So I think it was, I’m pretty sure it was a best man, stood up, took the paper out of his pocket and then suddenly like, I don’t know the gravity of the moment had hit him and he just didn’t know what to say, like the words just fell out. So it does, yeah, yeah it happens.

Wesley: [00:09:07] Yeah I can understand how nervous you could be because sometimes there’s a room full of people and it depends on what kind of a response you get from them, but you could tell a couple of jokes and if they don’t laugh that kind of makes you feel a little bit nervous.

James: [00:09:24] Brilliant okay cool and just in closing then what would you say makes your work different or stand out in the marketplace.

Wesley: [00:09:34] I think the reason why I’d say my work is unique is because it’s the way I’m kind of trying to portray someone else’s wedding and I feel that’s totally unique in the way I see it. I like to do a standoffish kind of style so I’m completely in the background and then that tends to finally capture those little moments between people. And little scenes that aren’t really… they’re rarely setup. I rarely do setup scenes and you tend to find, get the real good moments from that and everything in there, so I feel like when you look at a wedding video especially with the highlights you’ve got a complete feel of that day and I feel I capture that perfectly. So that’s why they’re better off with my wedding videos.

James: [00:10:25] Brilliant, I’ve got to say like Rachael I absolutely love your work and when we found out that you actually shoot it by itself we were just blown away, you know. The massive big thing for us was like you know how do we get our footprint down. How do we get smaller, smaller tripods, smaller cameras. Get everything down. So doing everything by yourself… that’s a massive thing. I mean you’ve heard horror stories five or six videographers going.

Wesley: [00:10:52] Yeah it is. Yeah I did. Funnily enough actually I was filming a wedding video the other day and it wasn’t the bride or groom that was saying anything about being around any of the videographers it was actually the make up artist and the hair people, and they said literally, they walked in and there must have been about five people, the Photographer said it as well on another shoot. But I’ve got round that with little cameras basically that I put round the room for the ceremony and the reception to pick up other shots. Obviously I’ve learned along the way to do that you see. So it’s been a learning process as well.

James: [00:11:28] Right. When you do that do you lock the focus off or you have them on autofocus.

Wesley: [00:11:33] Yeah basically the camera are a Sony RX0 which basically are like the GoPro but they’re not for moving around you see. They’re really for being static but you can put a picture profile on them as well so it means you can colour grade them after in post editing. But it’s a wide angle so all that does is just get a wide angle shot of the room and you can set that up. I’ve got a few of them you see that I set up and then obviously one on the bride during the service and then what I tend to do now is I’ve got another camera on a gimble and I tend to sort of be just behind the scenes kind of capturing a few slow mo’s. It’s a busy day, but it’s a great day.

James: [00:12:16] For Anybody that doesn’t know what a Gimble is, can you just explain what that is.

Wesley: [00:12:20] Yes, sorry, basically what a Gimble is it keeps your camera level so while you’re probably all over the place and shaking all about, this keeps it completely level so that you get those shots where you can move round and it just kinda flows basically, you get those really nice flowing movements.

James: [00:12:40] Right right. Gets the camera off the tripod and flowing around. Brilliant, brilliant. Well thanks so much Wesley, that’s been, that’s been really awesome, really, really helpful for people. So thanks for sparing the time for us and hopefully we’ll speak to you again soon.

Wesley: [00:12:59] Thank you, see you James. Bye

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